Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

Have you ever had a conversation with your child about how they feel when using their cell phones or social media? As adults, we have a point of reference of a time before cell phones and social media ruled the world. However, kids today have never known a world without cell phones and internet access. They are growing up with mobile devices not only in their homes, but also in their classrooms. This is their “normal.”

In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about the connections between social media use and mental health, actions we can take to make social media safer, and how to start having these safety conversations.

Sextortion: Fastest-Growing Online Threat to Children

Sextortion is a difficult and sensitive subject, but we need to talk about it.

Every adult needs to know about this new form of child sexual exploitation that has dramatically increased over recent years.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, sextortion is the fastest-growing online threat to children.  In December 2022, a national public safety alert was made to raise awareness about an explosion of cases. 

In today’s blog, we are going to define sextortion, explain how and why youth are targeted, provide tips to help prevent this child sexual exploitation, and offer ways to support youth.

Talking to Youth About Pornography

Sometimes we can avoid talking about sensitive subjects because we fear it might be awkward, difficult, or even stressful.  However, it’s always better to be proactive and have the talk!

Why is it important to talk to your kids about pornography?

Youth are being exposed to pornography at younger and younger ages.

According to a 2022 report from Common Sense Media, 15% of teens surveyed said they first viewed pornography at age 10 or younger.  The average age that youth self-reported being exposed to online pornography was 12 years old.

Helping Youth in Unhealthy Relationships

Growing up is hard and being a parent can feel very difficult at times.

It can also feel pretty scary when teens start dating. And through no fault of their own, anyone can find themselves in an unhealthy relationship.

In today’s blog, we’ll highlight warning signs and share strategies to help youth in unhealthy relationships.